We feel inspired and full of ideas after the six Regional Introductory Meetings of the “Changing with Climate” project! We have successfully spurred local communities and opened a broad discussion on the global topic of climate change and its impact on people’s lives. The whole month of March 2022 was saturated with events in search of the local environmental challenges in the cities of Sofia, Berkovitsa, Svishtov, Belitsa, Burgas and Yambol. The meetings were organized and hosted by the project partner schools: Vocational School of Agriculture “BUZEMA”, Sofia; host Primary School “Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov”, Berkovitsa; Secondary School “Tsvetan Radoslavov”, Svishtov; Secondary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, Belitsa; Secondary School “Konstantin Petkanov”, Burgas; St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, Veselinovo village.
Thanks to the collective effort of the hosting schools, the project team and the experts, an opportunity was ensured for open conversations, sharing of knowledge, experience and good practices. Working groups were created among the wide range of diverse local community representatives where problems related to climate change were discussed.
A total of 220 participants, including principals, teachers, students, representatives of local administration, mayors and deputy mayors, directors of directorates, experts, representatives of regional departments of education, regional inspectorates of environment and water, basin directorates, nature parks, forestry, local businesses, local civil society organizations, scientists and researchers, university professors, all took part in the meetings, together with parents and public figures, journalists from local news organisations and media.
During the meetings, the main objectives and activities of the project were presented. The focus was on local climate change issues in three main categories – environment, economic sectors, urban environment and human health.
Experts from the Institute for Progressive Education and the Environmental Association “For the Earth” prepared and gave presentations and materials, related to the the topics. All guests had the opportunity to participate in a working group of their choice, where they could contribute in identifying local problems and environmental challenges, and propose future solutions.
The broad profile of the participants provided an opportunity to discuss the effects of climate change on vulnerable native species and habitats in nature, as well as on economic sectors with a special focus on agriculture, water supply, forests, etc. Some of the local challenges will be described and reflected in the educational materials that are currently being created, thus applying an approach that identifies and tracks the local ramifications of global climate change.
With the regional meetings held, our major goal was to launch a series of activities and campaigns in order to raise awareness and competence of the Bulgarian public on the impact of climate change on human health, the environment and the social and economic life of modern society.
For the success of this project, we rely on the strong partnership between civil society organisations and schools, because over the years we have gained a lot of experience from working with schools all over the country. We are putting this global issue on the agenda precisely through schools, as the meeting point of local communities, to reach and engage the large audience directly and indirectly involved in the educational process.
In addition to the live participants at the regional meetings, through the publications and broadcasts in various electronic media, the information about the project and its activities has reached over 3000 people (according to data freely available on the Internet).
We are excited to share these moments from the regional meetings, which are filled with positive emotions stemming from the new friendships, enthusiasm for the cause and lots of smiles.
Regional introductory meeting on the project “Changing with climate” hosted by the Vocational School of Agriculture “BUZEMA”, Sofia, 9 March 2022
Regional introductory meeting on the project “Changing with climate ” with host Primary School “Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov”, Berkovitsa, 15 March 2022
Regional introductory meeting within the project “Changing with Climate”, hosted by Secondary School “Tsvetan Radoslavov”, Svishtov, 18 march 2022
Regional introductory meeting within the project “Changing with Climate”, hosted by Secondary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, Belitsa, 21 march 2022
Regional introductory meeting within the project “Changing with Climate”, hosted by Secondary School “Konstantin Petkanov”, Burgas, 23 march 2022
Regional introductory meeting within the project “Changing with Climate”, in Yambol, hosted by Primary School ” St. St. Cyril and Methodius “, Vesselinovo village, 23 march 2022
Video of the regional meeting in Yambol, hosted by Primary School ” St. St. Cyril and Methodius “, Vesselinovo village